Clear aligners, like the ones from Invisalign, offer many benefits to every user. Aside from effectively solving alignment issues, it also helps users boost confidence.
But, you should know that having it is just the first step to the journey. Caring and maintaining the aligners come next as they are “paramount” to achieve your goals.
In line with this, here are the best tips on how to clean, care, and maintain your Invisalign retainers:
- Use A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Your clear aligners would inevitably develop and grow bacteria as time passes by. It makes total sense considering that you need to wear them for more than 20 hours per day.
To avoid further bacteria-growth that can harm your aligners and your teeth, you must clean it in the same way you clean your teeth. Using your toothbrush, clean and brush the retainers.
Use soft-bristled toothbrushes, though, as the hard ones might cause wear and tear. While stiff brushes would not create a visible scratch, they are abrasive enough to cause damages to the plastic.
- Rinse the aligners every time you remove them
Soaking your Invisalign retainer every day is a must. However, ensure not to use hot water as it will warp the trays. As always, use clean, lukewarm water.
The same is true when rinsing your clear aligners. Every time you take it out, make sure to rinse to avoid bacteria from ever touching your teeth.
Make it a habit that you make sure to wear it clean and clear.
- Brush and floss your teeth before you put the trays back in
Rinsing is important to avoid contact with bacteria. To further ensure this, make sure that your teeth and gums are also bacteria and debris-free. Hence, it is a must that you brush your teeth and floss before wearing your Invisalign retainers.
There are no special or other ways to do these things even if you wear clear retainers. Just practice the same oral and dental care habits and teeth cleaning steps that you always do.
- Clean the Trays Twice Daily
When brushing and cleaning your clear aligners, experts recommend doing it twice a day. But, it still varies depending on the user’s lifestyle. So, if uncertain whether to do it twice or more, clean them every time your clean your mouth and teeth.
After brushing your teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, along with the remaining toothpaste that you have used. Many experts and users assert that applying and brushing a fresh-from-tube toothpaste may hurt the aligners.
- Use an Invisalign Cleaner Spray
Rinsing and soaking are part of the day-to-day maintenance of clear aligners. While it is an easy thing to do, it may become a tedious process for many users. This is why many dentists recommend the use of on-the-go Invisalign cleaner sprays.
One great example of this is the Smile Saver Spray. It is a peroxide-free cleaning solution that effectively works in less than 60 seconds.
Just spray the solution onto the retainer and it will already eliminate bacteria. Also, you no longer need to rinse the solution from the tray as you can already use it after the spray.
- Skip the chemicals
While Invisalign cleaner sprays are, technically, chemically-based solutions, they do not hurt your trays. They are designed for this purpose.
But, the case is different for any other chemically-based cleaning solutions, especially those that are not advised by experts. So, avoid using them without consulting your dentist. Moreover, studies show that chemical cleaning tools, like tablets, do not effectively remove bacteria from the retainers the same way that a simple brushing could.
- Keep the Aligners Safe and Clean
Even if you are not wearing your Invisalign retainers, ensure that you keep them safe and clean. Store them in their protective cases when they are not in use.
Aside from the point of cleanliness, placing and storing them ensures the quality of the trays. Not to mention, you reduce and even eliminate the risk of losing them, a move that may eliminate the chance of having to replace the retainers with a new one.
- Clean your case
To further ensure the cleanliness and safety of the Invisalign retainer, make sure to clean the case, as well, on a regular basis. Using a dirty case cancels out all the cleanliness practices that you do toward the retainers. This is also another way to maintain the overall quality of the trays.
You do not need to use strong soaps or solutions in cleaning the case. You may damp cloth to clean them or even toothpaste, and in the same way you clean the aligners.
- Don’t leave your trays laying out in the open
Another way to ensure cleanliness and safety, do not leave your case and your clear aligners laying out in the open. As noted, be sure to keep them safe to avoid any bacteria from contaminating them.
Invisalign retainers and clear braces are not fairly inexpensive. While this is a point that will help you consider the cleanliness and safety of the trays, it is worth noting that these retainers are always in direct contact with your mouth. So, ensure that you keep everything clean and safe.